MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — A former pastor from Milledgeville is facing up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl while doing missionary work in Uganda.
According to a news release, 44-year-old Eric Tuininga pleaded guilty to illicit sexual conduct in foreign places before Judge Marc Treadwell.
He was then taken into custody pending his sentencing, where he faces up to 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, a maximum fine of $250,000, and he will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.
His sentencing is set for May 3.
The news release says the investigation started in June 2019 when a U.S. citizen connected to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Uganda reported Tuininga, who was working as a minister with the group, was having sex with minors as young as 14.
Several agencies began investigating the claims and found that Tuininga had returned home already, so the Department of Homeland Security became involved, and agents eventually identified the Ugandan teen.
He then admitted he met the victim in his role as a religious leader and engaged in illegal sexual activity with her.
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